The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) welcomes the resignation of President Jacob Zuma. While there are concerns about the majority party’s process around presidential recalls – as it happened previously with President Mbeki – we regard Zuma’s resignation as being in the best interest of the country.

The Institute expresses the hope that this will bring more stability after an extended period of political uncertainty and polarisation that encumbered government in its ability to fully focus on the country’s major developmental challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

The IJR looks forward to both Friday’s State of the Nation Address, and the budget speech on the 21st of February, to see how a renewed focus and commitment to these and other critical challenges will find bearing in the planning of the new administration, likely to be led by the current president of the ANC, Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Institute remains fully committed to the creation of a free, democratic and inclusive society, and will continue to support all government efforts in the pursuit of this vision. At the same, the experience of the past decade has reinforced the need for a vigilant civil society that keeps the government of the day accountable to the prescripts of the South African Constitution. We urge society to remind itself that our national challenges of inequality and poverty – made worse by systemic corruption – is not tied to Zuma alone. As civil society, we will continue to hold government accountable and urge our institutions to reorient itself to integrity and service delivery, rooting out malfeasance wherever it appears.

It is in this spirit, that the IJR looks forward to work hand-in-hand with all societal stakeholders to address the challenges of our country and continent.

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